August 19, 2013
Yesterday I got in a “disagreement” with my girlfriend about finances. We are thinking of moving into a new apartment and the concept of how to split the rent came up. We have been sharing everything 50/50, but when the idea came up that we should split it differently, tempers flared on both sides. Should we split proportional to income or proportional to consumption? Or just half/half?
They say that religion, children and finances are the top 3 things couples argue about, so I guess we are just working on the finance one. But still, this morning, I woke up early: all sweaty and aggravated. I don’t know if it was 1. the fact that it sucks to argue with someone you love about something so theoretically petty as money, or 2. the meds my doc said I am on are more don’t-be-sad meds not don’t-be-angry meds. Regardless, even after waking up early and planning out various financial options and reaching a compromise in my head that I thought we’d both be ok with, I was still restless and angry all throughout the day. Part of it is that I got a new job specifically to earn more and save for a down payment on a house. I don’t like being under pressure to increase my spending, just because I earn more now. I also don’t like being called a rich selfish pig, just because I want to live frugally now, to save money for our future.
It helped to pray about it, I guess. Because I feel like dumb luck hit my life recently that my skills happen to be in demand right now. 5 years ago, the economy sucked, and I struggled to get a job at all, not to mention covering bills. While I don’t want to be a miserly asshole about my money, I also don’t want to live lavishly now, because you never know when rough times could come again. At the same time, there’s that quote “don’t store your treasures on earth, but store them up in Heaven.” I know that everything I have right now is only partially hard work and mostly luck of the Universe + circumstance + economy. I don’t think I deserve it anymore than anyone else, because lots of people work really hard and never get paid well. Still, I want to manage what I have responsibly.
So I think our argument brought up some internal struggle, because on one hand a voice says, “manage your money well, save a lot for the future, etc,” and the other hand says, “everything you have is by the random grace of God. Tomorrow he could take it all away from you or have it rain dollars down from the sky. Who are you, yee of little faith, to think that your few pennies miserly saved away is anything compared to the abundance God is capable of giving you.”
I feel like I was less angry with my GF, because ultimately we will work it out. But it brought up questions about who I am, and how I use/spend my money articulates who I am in the universe. Thus, realizing it’s all God’s money, which He for whatever reason, has lent me for a little bit, helps me surrender the outcome to Him.
Also popping an chill-pill at worked help me feel less snarly at coworkers.
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